The ballad of John Lennon’s art

The ballad of John Lennon’s art
Copyright © Yoko Ono

A typical couple honeymooning in Paris would get their picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were not a typical couple. Lennon sketched a picture of himself and Ono in front of the tower and showed it to friends and fans.“So that was our way of letting them join in on the wedding,” Lennon said to the BBC in 1980.

Now, fans of Lennon, the former Beatle, and Ono can see glimpses of their cheery domesticity, playful whimsy and the joy of love in The Art of John Lennon, on display down the shore this weekend: Thursday to Monday at the Ocean Galleries in Stone Harbor.

Collection curator Michele Rosen will be there Friday through Sunday.“That’s my favorite,” Rosen says of the Eiffel Tower picture. “There’s so much love there. There’s so much love Yoko and John had.”

There are 72 pieces in the exhibit and the limited-edition serigraphs and lithographs posthumously colored and signed by Ono are for sale, beginning at $700.

Lennon studied visual art at the Liverpool Art Institute from 1957 to 1960 and he later penned and illustrated three of his own books, “In His Own White,” “A Spaniard in the Works” and “Skywriting by Word of Mouth.”

“Art was his first love,” Rosen explains. “He began drawing before he picked up a guitar.”

On the topic of guitars, Paul McCartney is playing Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center, so it’s a big weekend for the Beatles in the region.

Small towns

It’s under Ono’s direction that the works are exhibited in out-of-the-way spots like Stone Harbor. The exhibit is free but attendees are encouraged to give a donation, which will go to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

“They’ll be going to places that are not just in the major cities, where people can see and appreciate John’s work.” Rosen says. “See the art, donate, take a piece home. One of the pieces is a very simple drawing of him and Yoko, celebrating John and Yoko’s love for each other. Each time I see it get choked up.”

If you go:

“The Art of John Lennon”

June 18 to 22, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ocean Galleries

9618 Third Ave., Stone Harbor, New Jersey

Free/donation is suggested


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